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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson once challenged writer to ‘throw the first punch’ at him during PGA Championship

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The biography of Phil Mickelson, titled “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar”, by Alan Shipnuck continues to provide fascinating stories about the mercurial golfer.

One part of the book reveals that Mickelson told Shipnuck to “throw the first punch” in an exchange.

The comments took place at the 1999 PGA Championship. The event was most famous for producing Sergio Garcia’s scissor kick and for a Tiger Woods victory. Phil struggled that week finishing in a tie for 57th place.

At the time, Shipnuck was writing “a weekly reader mailbag” for CNNSI.com. The mailbag featured a discussion online about Mickelson’s physique.

A reader had referred to him as “Full Mickelson”. Another one had discussed who was pregnant, Mickelson or his wife Amy. “Lefty” was understandably offended by the comments.

At his post tournament press conference, Shipnuck asked Phil an unrelated question.

“I’m not sure if he conflated readers’ words and made them mine or if he was miffed that I was giving a platform to such sophomoric discourse (in retrospect, a valid objection); either way, Phil was spoiling for a fight when, back at Medinah, I asked him a benign question for a Ryder Cup preview story.”

“I’m not going to answer that because I don’t respect you as a writer,” Shipnuck claims Mickelson said.

Then there was silence. Shipnuck claims the two went and to speak in a private tunnel near the grandstand.

He claims Mickelson told him what he wrote in his “little web column” was “bull****”.

Mickelson is said to have told him: “If you have a problem with me, just throw the first punch.”

Shipnuck claimed that Mickelson stepped in closer and said: “Just throw the first punch”.

Lefty then, when faced with stunned silence, said: “That’s what I thought”.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Pingback: This hilarious tale suggests Phil Mickelson may not be the wine expert everyone thinks he is – GolfWRX

  2. Thomas Woodward

    Jun 2, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Writers, journalists, Congressional members, CEO’s etc. etc. The majority of them are 100% oxygen wasters and should be put-down like rabid animals…

  3. Pingback: Lifelong friend of Phil Mickelson provides update on Lefty – GolfWRX

  4. Get Real

    Jun 2, 2022 at 10:00 am

    These comments are really cracking me up. Look, Shipnuck has been doing this for a long time and he’s well respected by his peers. Much like the golfers they cover, golf writers don’t take kindly to other writers lying or cheating. Now he’s written a book about Full Phil and folks are mad. Phil has always thought he was the smartest guy in the room and could get away with anything. Now the real stuff is coming out and he’s nowhere to be found. If this stuff weren’t true then Phil wouldn’t be on his self-imposed hiatus. Instead he would’ve just come out and said it wasn’t true and he would’ve played the Players, the Masters, and defended his PGA Championship. You can still love Phil but actions have consequences. It’s also interesting to note that few, if any, Of Phil’s peers have even tried to defend him or his actions.

  5. Ed Bobich

    Jun 1, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    I am not sure who looks worse, Shipnuck or Mickelson. I will say that nothing I have read about Mickelson surprises me. I have never liked him and I still cannot believe that he did not serve time for insider trading. On the other hand, Shipnuck comes across as someone with an axe to grind. If Shipnuck had any guts, he would have never written the book and instead confronted Phil face-to-face.

  6. PhilLacksIntegrity

    Jun 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    All the Phil fanboys coming out to protect the face of sports washing, looks like they lack integrity just like Phil. Phil is a gambaholic chasing the money, nothing more than that.

  7. DREW TAYLOR

    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:58 am

    Shipnuck is a jerk who is just out to cause trouble and make money for it. Someday I hope someone does a bio on him and expose all the dirt this guy ever did in his life..

  8. Vas

    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Please stop! I already like Phil enough, I don’t need yet another reason to… like trying to bait some self-important gasbag into getting knocked out.

  9. cb

    Jun 1, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Thats actually pretty damn funny. Throw the first punch, whos pregnant you or Amy. LMFASOOOOOOO

  10. Pingback: Amateur golfer has reportedly received an unbelievable sum to play in LIV Golf series – GolfWRX

  11. Dave

    May 31, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Way to go Phil!! Writers a bunch of p#&&!&$ that want no repercussions to their actions. Chalk one up for Phil.

  12. Andrew Smith

    May 31, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I’m halfway through reading the book – its of a pathetically amateur standard. Gross sensationalising for 15 minutes of fame and to make a quick buck.

  13. Brandon

    May 31, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Probably should have beat that dude’s ass 23 years ago.

  14. Johnny Penso

    May 31, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Just when I didn’t think I could like Phil any more than I already do, Shipnuck comes through with a good one!

  15. Pingback: How many pro golfers use a 3-iron? The answer might surprise you – GolfWRX

  16. Joey5Picks

    May 31, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    FIGJAM quickly moving to the top of the leaderboard for least liked player. The more we hear, the more unlikable he becomes. Go to the Bonesaw Golf League, please.

    • Holden Tudiks

      May 31, 2022 at 10:01 pm

      I still like Phil, and you’ll do nothing about it.

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19th Hole

‘Stay away in your fantasy land’ – Pro blasts LIV rebels over wanting to play PGA Tour events

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There have been a handful of golfers to speak out harshly against the LIV Golf defectors in recent months including Billy Horschel, Davis Love III, and Robert MacIntyre.

Joel Dahmen added his name to that list yesterday after eleven LIV members filed a lawsuit against the PGA TOUR.

In a tweet, Dahmen claimed to speak for “most tour players”.

In a follow up tweet, Dahmen clarified that his issue isn’t with players joining LIV Golf, it was with them attempting to still play on the PGA TOUR.

Harry Higgs was one tour pro to support Dahmen’s view, responding to his tweets saying: “Yeah take your cake elsewhere gents.”

Dahmen’s harsh words could be in part due to PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan’s statement, which asked current PGA TOUR members to “speak out publicly on the issue”.

“I also encourage you to speak out publicly on this issue, if you’re so inclined,” Monahan said in the letter where he accused LIV players of “trying to use lawyers to force their way into competition alongside our members.”

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19th Hole

Bryson suspended for ‘talking to other Tour members about positive LIV experience,’ lawsuit alleges

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Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal first reported on a suit that was filed on behalf of eleven players who are currently suspended by the PGA Tour for joining LIV Golf.

There were plenty of interesting bits of information in the 105-page complaint. Foremost among them is the alleged details that were revealed behind Phil Mickelson’s suspension.

According to the document, “Lefty” has been suspended by the PGA Tour since March 22.

“On March 22, 2022, the Commissioner suspended Plaintiff Mickelson (with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement in May of 2022) for, among other alleged reasons, ‘attempting to recruit players to join [LIV Golf]’.”

It was widely speculated during that time that Mickelson may have been suspended, but the information was never shared by the PGA TOUR or reported.

The court documents also reveal that Mickelson applied for reinstatement on June 20th, which was shortly after he teed it up at Centurion Club for the first LIV Golf Series event.

As expected, the documents claim that the TOUR shut that down as well.

“The Tour denied his request, stating that Plaintiff Mickelson violated Tour regulations by participating in the LIV Golf London Invitational.”

The documents also allege that Mickelson wasn’t the only former major champion who was suspended by the PGA Tour.

The suit filed also revealed that Bryson DeChambeau is suspended through March of 2023.

The document states that the 28-year-old is suspended allegedly “for talking to other Tour members about the positive experience he had had with LIV Golf.”

The “LIV 11” lawsuit is just the first shoe to drop in what likely will be a tumultuous fall season to come in golf.

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19th Hole

Greg Norman creates storm by falsely claiming LPGA Tour is sponsored by Saudi Oil Company Aramco

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From the initial Mickelsongate to an interview that hasn’t happened yet, the golf world continues to analyze every press conference, email, and statement released by the LIV organization and the PGA and DP World Tours.

Much of the controversy surrounds the answers given to the question, “Why?”

At the start of the controversial LIV series, much of the furore surrounded players that jumped from the ‘Mother Ship’ (PGA/DP) to a tour run and funded via a company closely related to the Saudi Kingdom, one that has received worldwide condemnation for its human rights records.

Earlier press interviews were awkward, and at least one competitor, Graeme McDowell, has spoken about the way he has been treated by the wider golf public.

Reasons given for the departure to the rebel tour have been as ‘leverage’ against current playing/media conditions issued by the main tours, that there would be ‘more time to be spent with family’, even that the 54-hole shotgun start is a far more attractive proposition than the traditional 72-hole split tee-time.

LIV CEO Greg Norman has also often come to the microphone to say he doesn’t quite understand the mass anger at LIV and its paymasters, given that Saudi Arabia is very much involved with some of the biggest companies in the world and many other sporting competitions.

However, his recent comment in an interview with Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson has set the golf world alight, in particular those involved with the LPGA.

During the report, Norman again says he cannot understand the attitude of many against LIV itself, stating that:

“The @LPGA Tour is sponsored by Aramco.”

Carlson raises his eyebrows and asks, “Literally?” before Norman again confirms his belief saying “the largest sponsor of women’s golf in the world is Aramco.”

As can be seen by the reaction from LPGA player Brittany Lincicome, this has not gone down well.

A host of names have taken to social media to refute Norman’s statement, with Lincicome, Lisa Cornwell, ex-Golf Channel broadcaster, and Beth Ann Nichols, Golfweek senior writer, amongst those that were at pains to point out that Aramco are associated with the Ladies European Tour rather than the US version and only as sponsors.

In a similar way to the feeder link between the PGA and DP World tours, the LPGA has an association with the LET, supporting the tour in both a financial and stabilizing role. However, with the Aramco series a sponsored event, it is a far cry from being a direct employer, as with LIV.

Cornwell, who resigned from the Golf Channel amidst ‘mistreatment’ at the end of 2020, was at pains to ask:

“How can the CEO of  LIV Golf get this wrong? Good Lord…”

Much of Twitter golf were posting their views, with one user asking professional golfer Sarah Kemp, “Does Aramco sponsor the LPGA Tour? Yes or No?” and received the simple answer, “No.”

He then asks, “So your position is No, but how about the LPGA Tour players that play in their sponsored tournaments? It appears that they do sponsor golf and until LIV was involved, those players had no problems taking the money. Please explain.”

In a separate thread but counteracting that stance, golf podcast host John Ziegler pointed out:

“It’s sad that Tucker Carlson, who I really like & once worked for, apparently fell for this BS analogy. Having a sponsor who does business with, or is even part owned by the Saudis, is NOT the same thing as the Saudis themselves creating a fake golf tour as a political PR effort!”

In another tweet, Kemp explains her stance against the comment that any Saudi company is the largest sponsor in the ladies’ game:

“Aramco is also NOT the largest sponsor in women’s golf. The @CMEGroupLPGA, a solo-sponsored event, has a higher purse than all 6 Aramco events combined.”

Hugely respected journalist who covers women’s golf extensively, Beth Ann Nichols then weighed in saying:

“The six Aramco events are on the LET schedule, not the LPGA! And yes, the LPGA and LET united several years ago in a joint venture. They have a partnership. But those are not LPGA events.”

In the week of the Women’s British Open, somehow, the LIV organization has come to the fore of the golfing world again.

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